Code Section

Code of Civil Procedure - CCP

PART 2. OF CIVIL ACTIONS [307 - 1062.20]

  ( Part 2 enacted 1872. )
  

TITLE 5. JURISDICTION AND SERVICE OF PROCESS [410.10 - 418.11]

  ( Title 5 added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610. )
  

CHAPTER 2. Commencing Civil Actions [411.10 - 411.35]
  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610. )

  
411.20.  

(a) If the clerk accepts for filing a complaint or other first paper, or any subsequent filing, and payment is made by check which is later returned without payment, the clerk shall, by mail, notify the party who tendered the check that (1) the check has been returned without payment, (2) the administrative charge specified in subdivision (g) has been imposed to reimburse the court for the costs of processing the returned check and providing the notice specified in this subdivision, and (3) the party has 20 days from the date of mailing of the notice within which to pay the filing fee and the administrative charge, except as provided in subdivision (e). The notice also shall state that the administrative charge and the filing fee shall be paid in cash, by certified check, or by other means specified by the court, but not by traveler’s check or personal check. If the person who tendered the check is not a party to the action or proposed action, but only is acting on behalf of a party, the clerk shall notify not only the person who tendered the check, but also the party or that party’s attorney if the party is represented. The clerk’s certificate as to the mailing of notice pursuant to this section establishes a rebuttable presumption that the fees were not paid. This presumption is a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence.

(b) The clerk shall void the filing if the party who tendered a returned check or on whose behalf a returned check was tendered has not paid the full amount of the fee and the administrative charge by a means specified in subdivision (a) within 20 days of the date on which the notice required by subdivision (a) was mailed. Any filing voided by this section can be disposed of immediately after the 20 days have elapsed without preserving a copy in the court records, notwithstanding Section 68152 of the Government Code.

(c) If an adverse party files a response to a complaint, paper or filing referred to in subdivision (a), together with a filing fee, and the original filing is voided pursuant to subdivision (b), the responsive filing is not required and shall be voided. The court shall, by mail, provide notice to the parties or their attorneys that the initial paper and the response have been voided. The responding party’s filing fee shall be refunded upon request, provided that the request for a refund is made within 20 days from the date on which the notice was mailed. Upon receipt of the request, the court shall refund the responding party’s filing fee without imposing any administrative charge. A refund under this subdivision is available if the adverse party has filed only a responsive pleading, but not if the party has also filed a cross-complaint or other first paper seeking affirmative relief for which there is a filing fee.

(d) If an adverse party, or a person acting on behalf of the adverse party, tenders a check for a required filing fee that is later returned without payment, the procedures in subdivisions (a) and (b) shall apply.

(e) If any trial or other hearing is scheduled to be heard prior to the expiration of the 20-day period provided for in subdivision (a), the fee shall be paid prior to the trial or hearing. Failure of the party to pay the fee prior to the trial or hearing date shall cause the court to void the filing and proceed as if it had not been filed.

(f) If the clerk performs a service or issues any document for which a fee is required and payment is made by check which is later returned without payment, the court may order further proceedings suspended as to the party for whom the check was tendered. If the court so orders, the clerk shall, by mail, notify the party who tendered the check that proceedings have been suspended until the receipt of payment of the required fee and the administrative charge specified in subdivision (g), by cash cashier’s check, or other means specified by the court, but not by personal check or traveler’s check. If the person who tendered the check is not a party to the action or proposed action, but only is acting on behalf of a party, the clerk shall notify not only the person who tendered the check, but also the party or that party’s attorney if the party is represented. The clerk’s certificate as to the mailing of notice pursuant to this section establishes a rebuttable presumption that the fees were not paid. This presumption is a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence.

(g) The clerk shall impose an administrative charge for providing notice that a check submitted for a filing fee has been returned without payment and for all related administrative, clerical, and other costs incurred under this section. The administrative charge shall, in each instance, be either twenty-five dollars ($25) or a reasonable amount that does not exceed the actual cost incurred by the court, as determined by the court. The notices provided by the court under subdivisions (a) and (f) shall state the specific amount of the administrative charge that shall be paid to the court. Each administrative charge collected shall be distributed to the court that incurred the charge as described in Section 68085.1 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 75, Sec. 30. Effective July 19, 2005. Operative January 1, 2006, by Sec. 156 of Ch. 75.)